Suspension helped Port Vale's Marc Richards gain full fitness

Port Vale captain Marc Richards
Richards' only goal this season came on the opening day against Crawley

Port Vale captain Marc Richards has said that he has been able to fully recover from an ankle problem while serving a three-match suspension.

"I've taken the positives from the red card. I didn't feel my ankles were 100%," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"They've been given a chance to settle down over the past couple of weeks, even though training has been tough."

He added: "My fitness is pretty much there. I'll need a couple of games to get my sharpness but I can't wait to get back involved."

The forward missed the matches against Bradford, Shrewsbury and Crewe due to suspension, but will be available again for the home game with Rotherham on Saturday.

The former Barnsley striker initially suffered the ankle injury during Vale's pre-season tour of North America in July and aggravated the problem further in the 2-2 draw against Crawley on the opening day of the season.

He made his comeback as a substitute at AFC Wimbledon at the start of September and was restored to the starting line-up at Plymouth.

However, Richards did not complete the match at Home Park, being shown a red card for his part in a fracas with Argyle striker Warren Feeney.

"I was disappointed because it was pretty much 'handbags', it was no more than that," said the Vale captain.

"I think if you spoke to Warren Feeney now, he'd probably say the same. It was nothing."

BBC Radio Stoke will have live commentary of Port Vale v Rotherham from 1400 BST on Saturday, 1 October.

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